Mance Feeling Confident

Brian Mance and the rest of the Tigers' secondary have heard all the doubters, and now they're all out to prove a point. "As a secondary we still feel like that have something to prove. We know we are a whole lot better that what we showed everyone last year, and this week is really our perfect opportunity," said Mance.

Brian Mance Profile

Starting cornerback Brian Mance knows that the Tigers' secondary was a much maligned unit last year under defensive coordinator Reggie Herring and defensive backs' coach Jack Hines. If anything, a quick look at the statistics paint a pretty ugly picture as the Tigers finished next to last in the ACC in most defensive categories. This year is a whole different ball game, especially with new defensive coordinator John Lovett running the show.

"Last year, it was like we all knew that if we took one false step it was going to be six points. This year, I think adjustments have been the theme to everything," said Mance.

Through the first game of the season, a noticeable improvement has been made across the board in the Tigers' secondary. Just ask David Greene, the starting quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Greene, the SEC Freshman of the Year last season, completed just 12-of-21 passes for 67 yards against Clemson last Saturday night. While he did help lead the Dawgs to the three point win, it wasn't because guys like Kevin Johnson, Eric Meekins, and Brian Mance were giving up the big play.

If anything, the secondary was right there step-for-step against one of the top receiving corps in the country in Fred Gibson and Terrance Edwards. But even with success in that opening game, Mance understands his work will be cut out for him this week against an explosive Louisiana Tech offense.

"Right now the main thing is our confidence. We aren't overconfident at all. As a secondary we still feel like that have something to prove. We know we are a whole lot better that what we showed everyone last year, and this week is really our perfect opportunity against a team that throws the ball 75% of the time," said Mance.

Louisiana Tech quarterback Luke McCown put the ball in the air almost 70 times for 450 yards last weekend against Oklahoma State, and if anything, the Bulldogs might actually throw more Saturday afternoon against the Tigers.

"They are going to come out and throw it around, everyone back in the secondary knows it. We just have to be really sharp and be right on with our route recognition. We see their offense everyday across the field in practice, so that should help us out as far as getting ready this week," added Mance.

Mance has assumed a natural leadership role in the Clemson secondary since practice started back in early August, and with good reason. He's generally regarded as the top cover corner for the Tigers, and from here on out, he'll continue to lock up with the opposing team's top receiver.

After matching up with Terrance Edwards last Saturday, Mance knows there is still work to be done even though the Tigers only gave up 203 total yards against one of the top offenses in the Southeastern Conference.

"We came back in and watched the film on Sunday and realized that we made some small mistakes out there. We feel like we played alright, but it's going to be scary when we really get this thing going," said Mance.

Scary must sound good to Tiger fans, and if last Saturday is any indication of things to come, the end of the season could just be something like a horror show. Top Stories